December 13, 2017, 9:00 am Filed Under: Industry News

New Building Trends in Retail Facilities

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The average brick and mortar store is evolving. Customer experience is paramount and store owners are now looking to building design to drive customer traffic. According to Chain Store Age, retailers are rapidly adopting interactive technology that benefits both the customer and building management. Based on their “Smart Building Trends” list, here are a few concepts facility managers should keep in mind:

Energy Efficiency is Key: According to ENERGY STAR®, “On average, 30 cents of every dollar spent on energy use in commercial buildings is wasted through inefficiencies.” ENERGY STAR suggests choosing energy-efficient systems is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to reduce energy use.

Use Smart Controls: Many retailers are implementing consumer-facing apps and innovations to bring in patrons, but smart technologies can also be a game-changer for building management. For example, Diamond Controls™ from Mitsubishi Electric Cooling & Heating pairs automation and facility management to allow users to control multiple systems through a single interface. Users are able to control a whole building or multiple building sites with Diamond Controls.

Augmented Reality for Maintenance: Last year, IBM stated that, “augmented reality is transforming building management.” Augmented reality allows users to experience and interact with video, images and audio ­– which are superimposed over real physical spaces and objects – through their smart devices. For example, QR codes can be programmed and scanned to reveal pertinent information about a system to a contractor. This can help easily identify any issues or errors within a system.

From an HVAC perspective, there is so much changing and evolving in the industry that can benefit retail spaces. At Mitsubishi Electric Cooling & Heating, our products reflect this evolution to provide occupant comfort and facility control.

December 6, 2017, 9:00 am Filed Under: Project Profile

Project Profile: Bank of San Antonio

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After breaking ground on a new, 56,000-square-foot office space in 2015, the Bank of San Antonio in Texas needed to find an energy-efficient HVAC system that offered quality comfort and control. The search ended by selecting Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) technology from Mitsubishi Electric Cooling & Heating (Mitsubishi Electric).

“We were looking for a system that was energy efficient but that could also provide comfort and produce the temperatures that we needed throughout the organization,” said Tom Moreno, executive vice president of operations and technology for Bank of San Antonio. Moreno and his team originally planned to install traditional HVAC technology, but with the assistance of local contractor, Flo-Aire Service Inc., and engineering consultant, Cleary Zimmermann Engineers, they decided to consider VRF.

Eddie McDuff, vice president, Flo-Aire Service, knew zone control was the best option for the bank. “[VRF] is a newer way that we’ve been seeing a lot of offices use air conditioning.” After consulting with long-time distributor, Mike Fauver from Texas Air Products, McDuff recommended Mitsubishi Electric. “Mitsubishi Electric was the first manufacturer that we got trained on. They’re easy to install and start up, and they also offer a good warranty. We’ve had really good success with them.”

Since project completion, Mitsubishi Electric’s VRF system has provided precise control and comfort for the bank. Moreno noted that the flexibility of VRF technology has been a success, not just for employees, but clients too. “If our team is too hot or too cold, it will affect productivity. Our clients should also get good service, and ensuring that our team is comfortable allows us to fulfill our promise to our clients that they will receive an exceptional experience.”

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December 4, 2017, 9:00 am Filed Under: Corporate News

Sign up for ASHRAE’s December Webinar on VRF and Building Integrations!

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Registration is now open for the free webinar, “VRF and Building Integrations: Options and How to Choose Among Them”, presented by ASHRAE Journal on Thursday, December 7 from 2 – 3 p.m. EST.

Presenters include our own Kevin Miskewicz, LEED® Green Associate and director, commercial marketing; and Tom Greco, national strategic sales manager, controls solutions. Attendees will explore the range of integration options available to owners and managers interested in maximizing efficiency and access to information across their mechanical systems in order to achieve optimal performance of their VRF system.

Learning Objectives include:

  1. Understand benefits of system integration for building owners and managers.
  2. Understand the range of integration options available to building managers and owners.
  3. Understand the benefits and challenges associated with each style of integration.
  4. Understand why integration that supports efficient management of Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) systems is of particular benefit.

Click here to register for the webinar.

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November 29, 2017, 9:00 am Filed Under: Project Profile

Project Profile: Northstone Development

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Energy efficient technologies are understood to be better for the environment in the long term, but they can also be immediately practical when building affordable and comfortable housing.

Last year, Habitat for Humanity of Catawba Valley (Habitat Catawba) in Hickory, North Carolina demonstrated this as part of its development of Northstone – an 18-unit neighborhood for Habitat Catawba families and market-rate residential buyers. While all the homes meet energy-efficiency standards, the first two homes built received the first Zero Energy Ready Home certifications in the state of North Carolina. This certification was developed by the U.S. Department of Energy and ensures each home given this status offers a cost-effective, high performance package of energy savings, comfort, health and durability unparalleled in today’s marketplace.

To achieve this certification, Habitat Catawba selected highly efficient technologies, including Zoned Comfort Solutions™ from Mitsubishi Electric Cooling & Heating (Mitsubishi Electric). This decision allowed the homeowners to qualify for rebates through local engineering services firm, Advanced Energy, Raleigh, North Carolina, and utility company, Duke Energy, Charlotte, North Carolina.

“We made a commitment to the entire neighborhood to offer affordable housing all the way through – from the energy efficiency of the homes to the long-term sustainability of the technology,” noted Mitzi Gellman, executive director, Habitat Catawba.

Since the homes have been occupied, residents feel both comfortable and happy with their additional energy savings. Gellman said selecting the Mitsubishi Electric systems for Northstone helped Habitat Catawba achieve its ultimate goal – providing families comfort at an affordable price. “We’re working with families where saving $40 to $60 a month improves their quality of life. The units help them achieve a better lifestyle.”

To learn more about this project, read the case study here.

November 23, 2017, 9:00 am Filed Under: Uncategorized

Happy Thanksgiving!

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November 22, 2017, 9:00 am Filed Under: Project Profile

Project Profile: Hicks and Nesbitt Residence

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Last year, Joel Hicks and Megan Nesbitt bought a historic 4,000-square-foot brick house in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. The house was built in 1895, and after a few months in the home, the couple realized their outdated boiler system couldn’t handle the cold weather. Within a five-week period, the boiler had burned through $650 worth of fuel oil, causing Hicks and Nesbitt to immediately search for a new system. After much research and consideration, the couple selected Hyper-Heating INVERTER® (H2i®) technology from our Zoned Comfort Solutions™.

“We certainly wanted an energy-efficient system because the boiler was inefficient, but we also had no cooling capacity. Convection airflow wasn’t going to make the house comfortable on the hottest day,” said Hicks. Along with efficiency, a system that could provide year-round comfort and pay homage to the historic property were high priorities.

The couple worked with John Ake and Scott Wallick from Zimmerman Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. As Elite Diamond Contractors™ for Mitsubishi Electric, Ake and Wallick believed that Zoned Comfort Solutions were the only zoned systems up for the challenge. Ake said, “We feel that Mitsubishi Electric offers a superior product in comparison to competitors in performance, reliability and warranty. We don’t get callbacks on them.”

Since the install, the couple has been more than pleased with the zoning abilities. Hicks said, “For the two of us in such a large home, it’s a perfect system. It’s reliable and offers the energy savings that we wanted. There are no surprises with this system.”

To control the comfort of their home and save even more energy, Hicks and Nesbitt invested in kumo cloud™, the programmable controller app by Mitsubishi Electric. “It’s simple to use, it’s intuitive and very convenient for us. I really like how you don’t have to hit 28 different screens to change the temperature in the kitchen,” noted Hicks.

To learn more about the project, check out the case study here.

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November 15, 2017, 9:00 am Filed Under: Industry News

Moving Beyond Accessible Design

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Recently, Google pledged to make their workspaces “ADA-plus” compliant. Their goal was to exceed the building accessibility standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). With the Baby Boom generation getting older and one in five Americans living with a disability, practicing universal design, or building for all abilities, makes sense and promotes equal rights.

As you might imagine, this goes beyond automatic doors and adequately sized restroom stalls. In 2005, the Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access (IDeA) established the following eight goals to help architects better understand the concepts of universal design:

  • Body fit: Accommodate a range of body sizes and abilities.
  • Comfort: Prevent environmental demands from being physically challenging.
  • Awareness: Ensure that critical instructions are made easily available.
  • Understanding: Make methods of operation and use clear and unambiguous.
  • Wellness: Contribute to health promotion, avoidance of disease and prevention of injury.
  • Social integration: Treat all groups with dignity and respect.
  • Personalization: Incorporate opportunities for choice and emphasize autonomy.
  • Cultural appropriateness: Respect cultural values and the social and environmental context of any design project.

In terms of HVAC, indoor air quality (IAQ) and temperature can be a huge factor in the health and comfort of building occupants. If not properly controlled, temperature and air pollutants can aggravate certain conditions such as temperature-related stress. Zoned Comfort Solutions ™ from Mitsubishi Electric Cooling & Heating allow indoor temperature to be controlled room-to-room and can aid greatly in creating a universally designed space. kumo station™ also promotes accessibility by allowing users to independently control their HVAC and filtering systems from a smart device.

November 11, 2017, 9:00 am Filed Under: Holiday

Happy Veterans Day

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November 8, 2017, 9:00 am Filed Under: Corporate News

Greenbuild 2017 is Here! Visit Mitsubishi Electric in Booth 838

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This week, the Mitsubishi Electric team is in Boston for the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo. Greenbuild is the world’s largest conference that brings together industry leaders, experts and professionals that specialize in sustainable building.

This year will include more participants than usual as Greenbuild and the ArchitectureBoston Expo (ABX) are co-locating at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC). Between the two shows, 25,000 people are anticipated to attend, with over 800 exhibitors.

Net zero building technology is expected to be one of the most popular topics at the conference. Parts of the exhibit hall will use onsite power generated by the Greenbuild Net Zero Zone and Microgrid Showcase. This showcase provides a unique opportunity to highlight sustainable technologies and products designed for the net zero building market, which is predicted to grow into a multi-billion-dollar market in the next few years.

If you are at the show, stop by booth #838 to learn about energy-efficient HVAC innovations from Mitsubishi Electric. We are proud to offer both residential and commercial products that minimize energy consumption while giving our customers maximum comfort and control over their environment.

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November 1, 2017, 9:00 am Filed Under: Project Profile

Project Profile: Loomis House

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Brad and Marian Loomis have lived in their 726-square-foot beach cottage in Morro Bay, California, for over 30 years. In August 2015, they decided to add an additional 724 square feet to transform their tiny cottage into a comfortable and roomy 1,450-square-foot home. During the renovation, the couple realized they needed an efficient way to cool their house during the summer and gain more personalized comfort year-round. To achieve these goals, they selected our Zoned Comfort Solutions.

Since its installation, Marian and Brad have been pleased with the decision to install zoned technology. Brad said, “The actual installation of the system was relatively painless. We moved back in after the remodel and could turn it all on and immediately have cooling and heating. Other technologies are inefficient so it’s a no-brainer to go with these heat pumps.”

They’ve also been pleased with the immediate results: “They heat the rooms very fast, and we’re in central California so we use more heating than cooling. They are super-efficient and we love having air conditioning in the summer,” Brad continued.

To control the comfort of their home, the couple invested in the kumo cloud programmable controller app by Mitsubishi Electric Cooling & Heating (Mitsubishi Electric). Brad said, “It’s a very good solution. We can look at the temperatures on my phone or my wife’s. kumo cloud is a vast improvement from the hand-held remote. You can monitor the house right at your fingertips, and you have access to everything from anywhere. You can see the status on your phone, and it allows you to make any adjustments that you want – you can program rooms to go on and off at various times of the day.”

Now with our Zoned Comfort Solutions, the couple have the comfort they’ve always wanted in their home. Brad said, “Before, we had the forced-air system on 365 days a year because it was drafty in the house. Now, our house heats up in less than 20 minutes and it isn’t a ‘drafty cracker box’ anymore. Mitsubishi Electric’s new technology has been really brilliant and it shows some great innovation.”

To learn more about the project, check out the case study here.

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